Definition of care noun from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//keə(r)//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ker//
    Medical equipment, Raising children
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  1. 1  [uncountable] the process of caring for somebody/something and providing what they need for their health or protection medical/patient care How much do men share housework and the care of the children? the provision of care for the elderly skin/hair care products see also community care, day care, easy-care, health care, intensive care See related entries: Medical equipment, Raising children
  2. 2  [uncountable] attention or thought that you give to something that you are doing so that you will do it well and avoid mistakes or damage She chose her words with care. Great care is needed when choosing a used car. Fragile—handle with care (= written on a container holding something which is easily broken or damaged) Synonymscarecaution prudenceThese are all words for attention or thought that you give to something in order to avoid mistakes or accidents.care attention or thought that you give to something that you are doing so that you will do it well and avoid mistakes or damage:She chose her words with care.caution care that you take in order to avoid danger or mistakes; not taking any risks:The utmost caution must be exercised when handling explosives.prudence (rather formal) being sensible and careful when you make judgements and decisions; avoiding unnecessary risks:As a matter of prudence, keep a record of all your financial transactions. Prudence is used particularly in financial contexts.Patterns to do something with care/​caution/​prudence great/​extreme care/​caution/​prudence to use/​exercise care/​caution/​prudence to proceed with care/​caution
  3. 3[countable, usually plural, uncountable] (formal) a feeling of worry or anxiety; something that causes problems or anxiety I felt free from the cares of the day as soon as I left the building. Sam looked as if he didn't have a care in the world.
  4. Word OriginOld English caru (noun), carian (verb), of Germanic origin; related to Old High German chara ‘grief, lament’, charon ‘grieve’, and Old Norse kǫr ‘sickbed’.Word Familycare noun verbcareful adjective (careless)carefully adverb (carelessly)caring adjective (uncaring)Extra examples Family members can provide child care with love and without charge. Great care should be taken to ensure that the equipment is clean. He had been in foster care since he was five. He left his job to take care of his sick wife. He loved his books and took great care of them. He takes excessive care of his appearance. He was found guilty of driving without due care and attention. He was in care for five years. I’ll take care of hiring the car. Last night she was critically ill in intensive care. Many historic sites are in the care of the National Trust. She will need lots of tender loving care. She’s still very frail and will need lots of tender loving care. The boys were taken into care when their parents died. The couple relied on informal care from relatives. The householder has a duty to take reasonable care for the visitor’s safety. The little girl was writing her name with painstaking care. Transporting the specimens requires great care. We have improved the way doctors deliver care. With proper care, the plants may last for fifty years. access to basic health-care services an intensive care unit children in public care recent changes in health-care policy sensitive to the health-care needs of underserved groups Fragile— handle with care. He was just walking along without a care in the world. She chose her words with care. She was charged with driving without due care and attention. medical/​patient careIdioms
    care of somebody (North American English also in care of somebody)
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    (abbreviation c/o) used when writing to somebody at another person’s address Write to him care of his lawyer.
    (British English) (of children) living in an institution run by the local authority rather than with their parents The two girls were taken into care after their parents were killed.
    in the care of somebody/in somebody’s care
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    being cared for by somebody The child was left in the care of friends. You won’t come to any harm while you’re in their care.
    (informal) used when saying goodbye Bye! Take care!
    take care (that…/to do something)
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    to be careful Take care (that) you don’t drink too much! Care should be taken to close the lid securely.
      take care of somebody/something/yourself
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    1. 1  to care for somebody/something/yourself; to be careful about something Who's taking care of the children while you're away? She takes great care of her clothes. He's old enough to take care of himself. You should take better care of yourself. Which Word?take care of / look after / care for You can take care of or, especially in British English, look after someone who is very young, very old, or sick, or something that needs keeping in good condition:We’ve asked my mother to take care of/​look after the kids while we’re away. You can borrow my camera if you promise to take care of/​look after it. In more formal language you can also care for someone:She does some voluntary work, caring for the elderly, but care for is more commonly used to mean ‘like’:I don’t really care for spicy food.
    2. 2  to be responsible for or to deal with a situation or task Don't worry about the travel arrangements. They're all being taken care of. Celia takes care of the marketing side of things.
    under the care of somebody
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    receiving medical care from somebody He's under the care of Dr Parks. refugees under the care of the relief agencies
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: care